— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has denied a petition to investigate Mercedes-Benz E350 brake lines after finding no evidence of safety defects.
The 2013 Mercedes E350 (W212 platform) was first sold in 2009 as a 2010 model.
Mercedes-Benz sold about 245,000 model year 2010-2015 E-Class sedans and wagons with the same brake line designs as the 2013 Mercedes E350.
Federal safety regulators received the petition in April from the owner of a 2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan who alleges his vehicle had "severely rusted brake lines that need[ed] to be replaced immediately at a cost of about $3300."
The diagnosis allegedly came from a Mercedes dealer service department advisor who also allegedly said he had seen the problem on many E350 sedans.
The petitioner requested “that NHTSA launch an investigation into this serious issue of rusting brake lines on [his] 2013 Mercedes E350.”
There was no brake fluid leaks from the lines and the braking performance wasn't affected, and the owner didn't know about the corrosion until the dealership found the rust during an inspection.
NHTSA performed a search of customer complaints and other data related to corroded brake lines and leaks in 2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedans and similar vehicles.
Safety regulators found no records related to premature brake line corrosion, and expanding the search to all W212 platform vehicles identified just one incident, a complaint alleging unspecified brake line corrosion and leakage in a 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550.
NHTSA did the math and found an extremely low failure rate of 0.4 failures per hundred thousand vehicles that have been in service for over 10 years.
There is no reason to open an investigation when no defect trend is found, leading regulators to deny the petition to investigate alleged premature brake line corrosion in 2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 vehicles.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from owners of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.